The Heart of Northern New Mexico – Red River


Last updated on July 27th, 2017

Situated just about an hour south of the Colorado border, in the heart of Taos Ski Valley and the Carson National Forest lies Red River, New Mexico. It is a darling little town full to the brim of rich history and culture, fantastically warm and welcoming people, and no lack of things to do.

The Heart of Northern New Mexico - Red River

If you are exploring New Mexico, chances are you are hitting Albuquerque and Santa Fe, where there is so much beautiful hispanic and native american history. These cities are incredibly beautiful with plenty of shops, restaurants, and historic sites. However, if you want to get off the beaten path and experience a small town with a big attitude, Red River is just the place.

In the summer time, Red River is teeming with tourists looking to get out of the heat and into some fresh mountain air. You can go horseback riding, fishing, hiking, off-roading, camping, and so much more. The weather is perfect for outdoorsy activities, and even though there are plenty of tourists the town never feels too crowded.


If you are interested in camping, you should visit Cabresto lake, which is a gorgeous 15-acre lake on a small campground with gorgeous views everywhere you turn. There are 9 campsites, complete with picnic tables and maintained community toilets. The campsites are serene and quiet, as not many tourists or inexperienced campers make the drive on the 4 mile primitive road.

While you are in Red River, in any season, be sure to check out our favorite places to eat.

For Breakfast:


Old Tymer’s Cafe. This is a super cute cafe with a vintage vibe and a bit of a biker theme. The food is delicious and the portions are extremely large, especially for the price. There is a dog-friendly outdoor patio to let you watch the town come to life as you enjoy your pancakes and eggs.

For Lunch:


The Ski Tip Restaurant. This gorgeous restaurant is located at the top of the mountain, offering delicious burgers and brats with a beautiful 360 degree view of the town and Carson National Forest. Hike up in the summer or take the ski lift in the winter and enjoy the view! Open for lunch only.

For Dinner:


Sundance Restaurant. For authentic and amazing Mexican food, head to the Sundance Restaurant. The building is huge, with two stories and a large patio. The restaurant is very popular, so it is recommended to make a reservation if you want to have dinner! Be sure to try their house-made agave margaritas and homemade sopapillas.

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If you are a skier or snowboarder, Red River has some of the best slopes in the country. The top elevation is over 10,000 feet with an annual snowfall of over 200 inches. The slopes also feature snowmakers to keep everything beautiful and fresh. There are 57 total trails, split evenly between beginner, intermediate, and expert levels.


For lodging, almost every hotel is beautiful and worth staying in. They have beautiful rooms and are all located right on the main strip. If you are planning on bringing your family or a large group, there are several cabin rentals available that can fit up to 16 people. These are often rustic, beautiful log cabins with the river right in your back yard.


If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of even New Mexico’s larger cities, you have to experience the serenity of Red River. With lots of quaint gift shops and cafes, plenty of outdoor activities, and a beautiful natural environment it is the perfect place for the adventurer who wants to have a relaxing vacation.

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